At IPPE 2017, Merck Animal Health is demonstrating its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals. To reflect that mission, the company is hosting “Step Up to Solutions” sessions to listen to and address concerns of poultry producers from around the world. At the top of this list is disease management, including ways to protect against and manage poultry intestinal and respiratory illness. The company is known as MSD Animal Health outside the U.S. and Canada.
“This is an exciting time for the poultry industry,” said Dr. Charles Hofacre, professor of clinical services at the University of Georgia in Athens. “We’re at a crossroads as we face new antibiotics regulations and an increased consumer demand for antibiotic-free poultry. There are huge opportunities for innovation as we start a new era in poultry production.”
Hofacre, who is an IPPE veteran, noted that the trend in poultry production away from the use of antibiotics leaves birds more susceptible to clostridium perfringens-associated necrotic enteritis and coccidia. According to Hofacre, “The best long-term solution for addressing coccidia vulnerability are vaccines, because they can create resistant populations for generations.
Dr. Guillermo Zavala, founder of Avian Health International, discussed the tremendous impact that respiratory disease can have on animal welfare and producer profits, noting that technologies improving poultry environment, including air filtration mechanisms, help prevent respiratory disease and increase the quality of poultry production. Additionally, Zavala highlighted key respiratory illness currently impacting poultry production, including Avian Bird Flu and infectious bronchitis.
“It’s amazing to come to IPPE and see all the technology and expertise that comes together,” said Zavala. “At the end of the day, all of us have the shared goal of producing meat and eggs at an affordable price, at the best possible quality. Everything you see around us is all geared toward putting food on the table.” “There’s 35,000 people from all over the world here,” said Hofacre. “Some of the best brain power from all of the world in poultry health and husbandry are here. Merck Animal Health has created an interesting opportunity for people to be in the same place and the same time – to get into the details of poultry health and have impactful conversations.”